One of the most common things people want to know about regarding weight loss is how to lose belly fat. Losing belly fat can be tough, there is no denying that. In fact, it could be one area of your body where you really struggle with slimming down. And you certainly wouldn’t be alone if that were indeed the case, as many people have embarrassing belly fat that they can’t seem to get rid of.
While diet is one half of the equation when it comes to weight loss, you should never ignore the benefits that a consistent workout routine can provide. In fact, with the right exercises done with proper form and the appropriate amount of intensity, you may find that your belly fat finally starts to melt away.
What are some of the best workouts that could help you lose belly fat? Check out the exercises that we have compiled below and consider adding them to your routine. Just don’t forget that eating right and staying focused on your fitness goals are just as important as hitting the gym (or working out at home, if that’s what you prefer).
When it comes to core workouts that could help you lose belly fat, crunches should be included in your routine. Even though a lot of people dread them, crunches could help you target every area of your abdominals so that you can really feel the burn.
Start by lying down flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground without straining your neck, keeping your hands gently behind your head. Lower to start and repeat. To increase the intensity, bring your feet up so that your calves are parallel to the floor and your knees are above your hips. Lifting your legs off the floor will help you work your lower abs at the same time.
To target the obliques, or the sides of the abdominals, twist on your way up. So, you can start by turning your right elbow towards your left knee, releasing, and then switching sides. To increase the intensity, lift your knees up so your feet are off the floor again. Bicycle your legs so that your right elbow touches your left knee, while maintaining your shoulders off the floor when you switch sides, so that you can keep the muscles in the upper abs working as well.
Another way to target your abdominals to lose belly fat is by doing plank exercises. Like crunches, there are so many variations that you can try in order to strengthen every muscle in your core and keep your body guessing.
Start in your standard forearm plank and hold it for as long as you can, maintaining a long, straight line with your body from your head to your heels. But then you can take it up a notch by moving into side plank.
Side plank will make the forearm plank pose even more challenging because you will need to support yourself on just two points of contact rather than four. Plus, side plank is a good way to strengthen the obliques as well. Just shift your weight onto your right arm, keeping the shoulder and the elbow in one line but shifting your hand so that it is facing the left side instead of straight forward. Your body should be facing the left side in a straight line. Make sure that you are lifting through the ribs and the hips in order to keep your body elevated as you balance on the side of your right foot. Hold for as long as you can and then release.
If you suffer with belly fat that is mainly found under the belly button, it is important to target those lower abs in order to tone them up and try to burn through the fat above them. One of the best exercises to get the job done is the leg raise. It might be a little difficult to get through this exercise at first, but just be consistent and do as much as you can every day. As you get stronger—and you will—you will be able to increase the number of reps that you perform.
Start by lying down on the floor. Place your hands underneath your hips for added support for the lower back, as you don’t want to strain it. Keep your legs extended out so that they are flat on the floor. Then, using a contraction in the abs, lift both legs up off the floor at the same time. Try to bring them to a 90° angle with your hips so that your feet are pointing to the sky before lowering them back down.
With this exercise, make sure that you do every movement with a lot of control. You don’t want to throw your legs up in the air or drop them quickly to the floor. Instead, you want to move in a really controlled fashion where every movement is deliberate, and you are moving slowly to use your muscles rather than momentum.
As you get stronger, you could add some variations to this exercise as well. For example, after bringing your feet to the sky, bring them back down but don’t let your feet touch the floor before lifting again. This will help keep a contraction in the abs. And when you become comfortable with that, you could bring the feet up to the sky, bring them back down while keeping the feet off the floor, and then spread your feet out to the sides before bringing them back together again and raising them to the sky, all without touching the floor.
Various workouts that build strength throughout the core are definitely necessary if you wish to slim and tone your belly with exercise. But beyond building up the muscles throughout your abdominals, you also want to go the extra step to burn the stubborn fat that is sitting on top of the muscles in your stomach. And to get the fat burning going, you should incorporate some cardio into your workout schedule.
When it comes to cardio, you have so many choices, so you can vary your routine and always keep your body guessing without getting bored. For example, you could take a kickboxing class, you could enroll in a Zumba class, or you could go for a run on a treadmill or at your local park. There are also dance classes, swimming, and aerobics routines that combine the use of light weights to up the intensity. And, of course, there is high-intensity interval training, which is great for getting your heart rate up and building your stamina and strength all at the same time.
The goal is to get your heart rate up, the sweat flowing, and your blood pumping. This will help to increase your metabolic rate, and you will be able to burn even more fat and calories than if you just stuck with a strength training routine. After all, it is all about balance, right?
When it comes keeping stubborn belly fat at bay, it is all about maintaining your momentum. So even after you lose belly fat, it doesn’t stay lost if you stop. After tightening up your abs and getting the sexy belly that you have always wanted, don’t get lazy and don’t stop. Instead, keep up the momentum, continue challenging your body, and enjoy the many benefits that come with following a healthy diet and staying active.